Why Missions?

Sarah Otteson   -  

My husband Elliot and I just returned from a two week Youth and Young Adult mission trip to Cambodia. We worked full days teaching English in rural secondary schools.
Our students absolutely flourished as they were challenged beyond their comfort zones to lead classrooms and create their own lesson plans. The first day as the team drove into the school courtyard they rose to the occasion defeating the fears and insecurities of uncharted waters. They were about to stand before classroom after classroom of students just a year or so younger than they are, but carrying purpose and vision to give all they had to serve these Cambodian students.

Christians tend to have mixed feelings about mission trips and granted not every mission trip is as effective as others. I personally have now been on eight mission trips and this trip just bounced to number one in my book. The long term vision in Cambodia is so well thought out and is being executed by churches across the world. Through the leadership of Missionary Ken Huff and the Assembly of God churches, teams of all shapes and sizes, cities and ages come to Cambodia to teach English partnering with local pastors and bible college students who serve as translators in the schools that the teams teaches in. This builds credibility with the Cambodian students and faculty, which constructs the bridge to the Kingdom drawing salvation closer and closer.
The transformation goes far beyond the local students though. I observed our own students grow in profound leaps and bounds. It doesn’t take long of doing ministry to learn that so much of it is just walking along side people on the road. It’s in the “along the road” moments that Jesus’ disciples had the greatest revelations and encounters.
On this trip I witnessed a daughter begin to reconcile a deep betrayal of a parent, another absolutely demolished any fear of public speaking and spoke courageously and confidently to an entire staff of teachers, and still yet another who lost her voice realized there are so many more ways to place value on people than with words. The list goes on and on.
At the end of the day, it is all about Jesus. Always. Ever. Jesus.
He was with us and remains with us. There is just something about responding to the call “go” and being “sent” that opens our callused hearts to the Spirit speaking and healing, growing and leading.
Thank you to all who have supported our students to Cambodia this summer! Your prayers and financial support is truly transforming the ends of the earth and our own backyards.
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